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Programme to upskill surfers, beach-goers on safety, rescue techniques

9th May 2022 The Gisborne Herald Paul Rickard

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Photo: Phil Watson and George Busby try their hand at CPR.

A programme from across the ditch to upskill surfers and beach-goers in safety and rescue techniques is gaining gain traction locally.

On Saturday, 20 people took part in a board rescue and CPR course at Riversun Wainui Surf Life Saving Club aimed at giving them the confidence skills to act in emergencies.

Gisborne Boardriders Club development manager Flo Bub went along on Saturday and said Wainui instructor Sonia Keepa did a fantastic job running the course.

Sonia Keepa Surfers Rescue 247

“The idea came from Australia. A lot of surfers rescue people and quite often those rescues take place at remote beaches where there may not be any control tower,” he said.

“The idea is that surfing and surf lifesaving work together and we want to upskill anyone who is using the beach, no matter in what way, and give people techniques so they feel comfortable when there’s no lifeguard around.”

Mr Bub said the programme was part of their efforts to remove barriers and make sure everyone, of all abilities, could have a go at surfing.

“We take a lot of initiatives up the Coast and this will be an awesome addition to the programmes we run up there, providing participants with more ocean knowledge and upskilling them with rescue techniques,” he said.

“Thanks to Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Surfing New Zealand because they initiated the programme and brought it over from Australia.

“We’re hoping to get more courses going and share the knowledge across the region.”

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